Make us your home page
Instagram

Whole Foods Market philosophy breeds a healthy workplace

Employee Josh Crawford, 26, puts away avocados on Tuesday at the Whole Foods Market in Carrollwood. Crawford loves helping people, and he practices the healthy lifestyle that he teaches.

EVE EDELHEIT | Times

Employee Josh Crawford, 26, puts away avocados on Tuesday at the Whole Foods Market in Carrollwood. Crawford loves helping people, and he practices the healthy lifestyle that he teaches.

CARROLLWOOD

Here in his element, among the rows of beautiful, bright produce, Josh Crawford has become very good at spotting the uncomfortable. He sidles up to them, the first timers, the ones whose doctors told them they need to eat better, and gently asks if they need help.

Most say things like, "I'm supposed to eat more kale." Crawford, an employee at Whole Foods Market in Carrollwood, shows them what they are looking for, tells them the health benefits and his favorite recipes. He loves helping people. Like most employees at Whole Foods — which was ranked 16th out of 30 best midsize companies to work for in the Tampa Bay area — Crawford lives and believes in the store's healthy living philosophy. He eats no meat or dairy, though he has some fish a few times a month. Two avocados a day. Lots and lots of kale.

"We improve lives," said Crawford, 26.

Whole Foods has two locations in Hillsborough, one in Tampa and the Carrollwood store, which opened in November. Both stores employ 342 people. Though it is new, the Carrollwood employees say they feel a camaraderie because of their shared passions.

Though Whole Foods is the eighth largest food and drug company in the United States with $11.8 billion in revenue, many decisions are made at the store level. Anna Payne, Carrollwood's marketing and community outreach team leader, said this gives employees more of a feeling of ownership. Staffers volunteer in the community together and raise money for charities, on their own and by asking customers to pitch in at the register. They choose the charities as a team. Since November, they have raised nearly $900 for a student garden at Northwest Elementary School and more than $2,000 for a community garden in Carrollwood. They also raised more than $12,000 for the Whole Planet Foundation, a nonprofit founded by Whole Foods to provide microloans to people around the world.

"I really believe in a healthy world with healthy people," said Michelle Irene, a cashier who has worked for the company for 10 years. Irene said there are other reasons why Whole Foods is a top workplace. She said employees are treated fairly. Part-time employees can get medical benefits. The company hosts employee appreciation week once a year where staffers are feted with food and their store discounts are doubled. Hard work is noticed and rewarded.

"I love working here," she said.

Erin Sullivan can be reached at esullivan@tampabay.com or (727) 869-6229.

Whole Foods Market philosophy breeds a healthy workplace 04/20/13 [Last modified: Friday, April 19, 2013 3:19pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Federal agencies demand records from SeaWorld theme park

    Tourism

    ORLANDO — Two federal agencies are reportedly demanding financial records from SeaWorld.

    Killer whales Ikaika and Corky participate in behaviors commonly done in the wild during SeaWorld's Killer Whale educational presentation in this photo from Jan. 9. SeaWorld has been subpoenaed by two federal agencies for comments that executives and the company made in August 2014 about the impact from the "Blackfish" documentary. 
[Nelvin C. Cepeda/San Diego Union-Tribune/TNS]
  2. Legalized medical marijuana signed into law by Rick Scott

    State Roundup

    TALLAHASSEE — Gov. Rick Scott on Friday signed into law a broader medical marijuana system for the state, following through on a promise he made earlier this month.

    Gov. Rick Scott signed legislation on Friday that legalizes medical marijuana in Florida.
  3. Line of moms welcome Once Upon A Child to Carrollwood

    Business

    CARROLLWOOD — Strollers of all shapes and sizes are lined up in front of the store, and inside, there are racks of children's clothing in every color of the rainbow.

    At Once Upon A Child, you often as many baby strollers outside as you find baby furniture and accessories. It recently opened this location in Carrollwood. Photo by Danielle Hauser
  4. Pastries N Chaat brings North India cuisine to North Tampa

    Business

    TAMPA — Pastries N Chaat, a new restaurant offering Indian street food, opened this week near the University of South Florida.

    The menu at Pastries N Chaat includes a large variety of Biriyani, an entree owners say is beloved by millions. Photo courtesy of Pastries N Chaat.
  5. 'Garbage juice' seen as threat to drinking water in Florida Panhandle county

    Water

    To Waste Management, the nation's largest handler of garbage, the liquid that winds up at the bottom of a landfill is called "leachate," and it can safely be disposed of in a well that's 4,200 feet deep.

    Three samples that were displayed by Jackson County NAACP President Ronstance Pittman at a public meeting on Waste Management's deep well injection proposal. The sample on the left is full of leachate from the Jackson County landfill, the stuff that would be injected into the well. The sample on the right shows leachate after it's been treated at a wastewater treatment plant. The one in the middle is tap water.